Tips To Train A Shy Or Nervous Dog – Part 4 of 4

For convenience, we will refer to your dog as “he” rather than “he or she”.


1       Take charge of your dog.  Unlike most humans, dogs like someone to lead them and be in charge.  The best person to do this is their trainer.  Fearful dogs are generally ill at ease when having to make a choice.  When your dog is shy or nervous, having to make decisions on his own can be terrifying and even traumatic.  When you show leadership your dog will immediately relax.  You must be gentle and kind, but at the same time firm and definite.  You must reinforce your spoken command or hand signal with clear, positive body language.


2       Give your dog his own special place.  This does not apply to just a physical space, but also to his place within the family.  You must frequently remind him that the is an important part of the family and is a source of joy for the human members of the family.


3       Never loose your temper with your dog.  There are bound to be many occasions with a shy and nervous dog when you feel frustrated.  These are the times when it is imperative that you remain calm.  Keep telling yourself that he is not acting this way to spite you and he does not enjoy what he does.  You owe it to him and yourself to remain patient and relaxed when things are not going well.


4       Talk to your dog.  Kind and gentle words can be very soothing to a dog.  He will pick-up on the meaning of lots of words and this will help to boost his confidence.  When you are pointing out a particular object to him speak the name of the object, such as “ball” or “mouse”.  This interaction helps to strengthen the bond between you and your dog and it will have a positive impact on sequent training sessions.


We wish you every training success and years of enjoyment for both you and your dog.